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Acura 3.5 RL Technical Info

 
Old 01-06-2010, 10:01 PM
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Acura 3.5 RL Technical Info

All info is from www.acuranews.com

Any changes made to the RL over the years will be noted below.

1996 Acura 3.5 RL- Powertrain

The 3.5 RL is powered by a 3.5-liter,all-aluminum, single-overhead camshaft, 90-degree V-6engine which produces 210 horsepower at 5200 rpm and 224 1bsft of torque at a very low 2800rpm. Four valves per cylinder and a three-stage variable induction system help to provide both high torque at lower engine speeds and excellent breathing at higher engine speeds.

While based on the general design of the 3.2-liter V-6, the 3.5-liter RL engine represents a major departure from the engineering philosophy that gave rise to that earlier engine. Apart from fasteners and other minor components, the two engines have few parts in common.

The RL engine was developed with two major goals in mind: first, to provide maximum thrust at the engine speeds most normally used in day-to-day driving, i.e., the range from 1500 rpm to 4000 rpm. And second, to be both quieter, smoother and more durable than any engine in Acura history. The RL can travel 100,000 miles without requiring a scheduled tune-up.

The engine is located longitudinally, moving weight to the rear for the 60/40 weight distribution deemed optimum for a front-wheel-drive sedan. The longitudinal mounting also yields benefits in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) performance, because it allows the use of softer and better-located engine and transmission mounts.

An electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission, with Grade Logic Control software, is standard on every 3.5RL.

Engine Block

Like all other Acura engines, the block of the RL engine is an aluminum pressure casting with cast-in iron liners, a design known for its light weight, excellent rigidity and outstanding long-term durability. The crankcase is designed with a deep skirt and extensive webbing for added rigidity, reduced noise and reduced vibration. Actual displacement is 3473cc; stroke was increased 7mm to gain the added displacement. The 3.5RL engine is a slightly undersquare design, with a bore of 90.0mm and a stroke of 91.0mm.

The main bearing journal supports have been beefed up for added rigidity, resulting in significantly reduced vibration in the 300-to-800 Hz range. The improvement in stiffness has raised the resonant frequency of the engine block an impressive 20 Hz.

Primary Couple Balancer

To further reduce vibration transmitted to the passenger cabin, the RL engine features a rotating balancer, mounted to the right side of the engine block. The belt-driven balancer counteracts the rocking tendency inherent in the 90- degree V-6 design.

Crankshaft

The forged steel crankshaft is micro-finished,an extremely precise finishing process developed originally in the Formula One engine program to reduce friction and enhance durability.The metallurgy of the main bearings is also a direct result of the Fl program of the late eighties and early nineties. The surface of the bearings has a unique, pyramidal structure, allowingspace for enhanced oil retention and resulting in lower friction and improved long-term durability.

Block-Forged Connecting Rods

The connecting rods of the RL are forged using a unique process, one that results in parts of high strength and unprecedented uniformity.The RL engine is the first automobile engine in the world to be produced using this advanced technology.

Because of the imprecise nature of the conventional forging process, the connecting rods of all other auto engines must be sorted according to weight, with rods of approximately equal mass assigned to each particular engine to achieve proper reciprocating balance. And even in rods that happen to have equal overall mass, the distribution of metal density throughout conventional rods can vary enough to affect strength and engine balance.

The rods of the RL are forged with a new "block forging" system, in which the steel blank is struck, at extremely high pressure, from five directions at once. This process has no allowance for excess metal; it has nowhere to go in the ultra-precise block forging dies. Accordingly, the blanks that will be forged into RL rods are machined, before the forging process, to exacting mass tolerances. In other words, the material that will become an RL connecting rod has been precisely measured and balanced before it ever enters the forging dies.

As a result of this process, RL connecting rods are the most precisely balanced of those in any production automobile engine.

Full-Floating Piston Pins

To reduce the engine noise caused by contact between the pistons and piston pins, the RL engine uses a full-floating piston pin design, in which the clearance between the piston and piston pin has been reduced. Typically,the piston pin is a press fit in the rod, and a larger clearance between the pin and the aluminum piston allows the piston to rock freely. In the RL design, the pin moves freely in the rod, and the piston rocks freely on the pin as well; the piston pin is essentially free to "float" between the piston and the rod. This change alone has resulted in a significant5db noise reduction.

Cylinder Head/Valvetrain

The 3.5RL engine features a 4-valve-per-cylindervalvetrain with pent-roof combustion chambers. A single camshaft for each cast-aluminum cylinder head is driven by a flexible toothed belt. Hydraulic lash adjusters are used for quieter running and reduced maintenance.

Valve Timing

Conventional high-performance engines typically use a substantial amount of valve overlap to achieve better breathing at higher rpm; i.e., the intake and exhaust valves are open simultaneously at Top Dead Center between the exhaust and intake strokes. At low rpm, however, this allows blow-back of the fuel-air mixture, with exhaust gas creating a pressure wave that reverses flow of the fresh incoming charge. To prevent the resulting unstable combustion-and relatively rough running-at low rpm, the RL camshaft timing has considerably reduced valve overlap, resulting in smoother low-speed running and improved low-rpm torque. The advanced, 4-valve-per-cylinder design, along with the Variable Induction System intake tract, combine to maintain excellent high-rpm power output.

Fuel Pulsation Noise Reduction

To reduce the pulsing noise emanating from the fuel injectors, a special sounddampening unit is mounted at the junction of the fuel delivery tube and each individual injector.

Timing Belt

To further reduce noise, the resonant frequency of the timing belt has been tuned by altering both its width and its material. The position of the belt tensioner was also changed, as part of the intensive effort to reduce overall engme noise.

Variable Induction System

To tune the intake system volume and length for optimum torque at any rpm, the RL uses a three-stage intake system. To enhance cylinder charging by making use of resonance effects in the intake tract, the engine uses a longer intake tract at low rpm, transitions to a mid-length tract in the mid-range, and then is opened completely for high-rpm running, letting the inertia effect of the moving column of air in the system enhance cylinder filling at higher revs. The system has been redesigned and retuned for the special low-rpm/high-torque tuning emphasis of the RL engine.

Programmed Fuel Injection

Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) compensates for varying driving and atmospheric conditions, providing enhanced driveability in a wide variety of conditions. Data on coolant temperature, air temperature and density, manifold vacuum, engine rpm, throttle position, crankshaft position and exhaust oxygen content is interpreted by the Electronic Control Module (ECM), which determines fuel injector duration and timing, as well as ignition timing and transmission operation.

4-Speed Grade-Logic Automatic Transmission

The advanced, computer-controlled automatic transmission of the 3.5RL is the product of an intensive development program that focused on smooth shifting, responsive operation and state-of-the-art efficiency and drive ability. It uses Grade Logic Control to enhance performance on uphills and downhills. Using "fuzzy logic" software, the Electronic Control Module senses when the RL is traveling uphill and holds the transmission in a lower gear, even if a reduction in throttle position would otherwise dictate an upshift. This prevents "hunting" of the transmission between gears in steady uphill driving. Also, on downgrades, the transmission is in 3rd gear instead of automatically shifting to 4th, letting engine braking help keep the RL from picking up unwanted velocity.

A refined torque converter is used to enhance performance and to achieve optimum fuel efficiency. The converter has been developed to reduce the "creeping" effect at idle, making the vehicle extraordinarily easy to hold with the foot brake at a stoplight.

A gated shifter is used in the RL, helping the driver sense the position of the lever without diverting attention from the road.

Traction Control System (TCS)

A computer-controlled Traction Control Systemis available on the RL as part of the Premium Package. If the wheel-speed sensors determine that a front wheel is accelerating faster than the other, or that both fronts are accelerating faster than a preset acceleration limit, the computer automatically closes a secondary throttle valve until wheelspin ceases.

Electronic/Hydraulic Engine Mounts

To reduce vibration at idle, the RL uses hydraulic engine mounts with two different damping rates: a soft rate that allows the engine/transmission unit to move more freely at idle, and a stiffer rate that positions the powertrain more firmly during driving. Between 820 and 850 rpm, the damping characteristics of the mounts change automatically; a small solenoid valve closes, restricting the flow of fluid from chamber to chamber and thus increasing the damping rate.

In addition, the main engine mounts have been located very close to the center of mass of the engine/transmission unit, more effectively isolating the primary inertial couple effect at idle. This change has resulted in significantly reduced vibration felt at the front seat in the critical 500- to 1200-rpm idle and off-idle range.

Liquid-Filled Subframe Mount

To reduce engine noise under acceleration, the subframe mounts between the engine/transmission/suspension assembly are filled with hydraulic fluid of a specifically tuned viscosity.The resulting softer damping rate further isolates the passenger compartment from engine and road noise.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:01 PM
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1996 Acura 3.5 RL- Chassis

The RL is equipped with 4-wheel independent double-wishbone suspension with coil springs, 4-wheel disc brakes with ventilated front rotors, an Acuradesigned Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and stabilizer bars both front and rear. The goals used in developing the RL chassis were to increase overall cornering ability and to make the response of the chassis to driver input as linear and predictable as possible, while at the same time achieving a smooth, well-controlled ride-and reducing noise, vibration and harshness to a remarkable degree.

Low-Friction Double-Wishbone Suspension

The double-wishbone suspension layout of the RL (and all other Acura automobiles) allows precise control of wheel movement, while isolating the damper units from the side-loading and resulting friction inherent in the less advanced McPherson strut design used on some other luxury sedans. The front suspension uses unequal-length upper and lower control arms and a tubular stabilizer bar, while the rear suspension is a combination of a longitudinal trailing arm, three lateral links and a tubular stabilizer. For excellent stability and improved ride quality, added anti-squat and anti-dive geometry were built into the RL suspension. To achieve a compliant ride without compromising handling response or cornering capability, the RL suspension also uses a number of innovations to reduce friction throughout suspension travel. The stabilizer bars use highly efficient ball joints at either end, as well as selflubricating bushings at the sub-frame mounts. The upper arms of both the front and rear suspension have low-friction ball-joint bushings where they attach to the main structure, reducing overall friction while enhancing rigidity of the suspension assembly. The dampers of the RL have an advanced Progressive Valve design, for increased damping control at low damper speeds while retaining quick, fluid response to large impacts. Special, redesigned Teflon seals within all four damper units reduce friction even further, for improved ride quality.

Low Roll Center

To give the RL a stable, predictable feeling during hard cornering, while improving overall lateral acceleration capability, the suspension geometry was designed with lower roll centers than previous Acura luxury sedans. Roll center of the front suspension is 59mm above ground level, and 70mm above ground level at the rear. This has resulted in higher ultimate cornering performance, from 0.77g to 0.80g,as well as more predictable response at the limits of adhesion.

Liquid Rear Trailing Arm Bushing

To reduce road noise and harshness, the bushing at the front of the rear trailing arms is a liquid-filled design, instead of the more conventional rubber-damped bushing.

Braking System

Power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes are standard, with ventilated rotors in front for minimal fade and excellent heat dissipation. Front discs are 280mm in diameter; rear discs are also 280mm across. By fine-tuning the leverage ratio of the brake pedal and the response characteristics of the power-brake vacuum diaphragm, the RL engineering team achieved reduced stopping distances while making brake response more linear and intuitive. Combined with the new "low-creep" torque converter, these refinements also help make it easier to hold the RL at a stop.

Anti-Lock Braking System

A three-channel, four-wheel ABS system is standard. The ABS enhances steering control during hard braking. Speed sensors at each wheel send signals to the ABS control module; if the system detects impending wheel lockup, if first holds, then reduces hydraulic pressure to the affected wheel, letting it regain traction before full braking resumes. The ABS function is also highly effective on split-friction surfaces, in which one side of the vehicle has significantly less traction than the other. In the highly unlikely event of an ABS failure, a warning light is illuminated on the instrument panel. In such a case, the control module cancels the ABS function, allowing the standard braking system to operate normally. The system used in the RL is a new design which weighs 1.3kg less than the previous-generation ABS system.

Rotary-Valve, Variable Power-Assisted Rack-And-Pinion Power Steering

A new rotary valve senses torque applied to the steering wheel and varies power assist accordingly. This valve, in concert with inputs from a speed sensor, adjusts steering assist for easy steering in parking-lot conditions and quick, precise steering feel at speed.

Wheels And Tires

To reduce unsprung mass and to enhance cornering power and handling precision, the RL is equipped with 6.5JJ X 16 cast-aluminum wheels and P215/60 R16 Michelin tires. The tires of the RL are of a special low-rollin gresistance design, which yields outstanding ride characteristics and improved fuel mileage, while achieving excellent handling response and overall grip. The tires are an All-Season design, for enhanced traction on wet roads as well as on dry pavement.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:02 PM
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1996 Acura 3.5 RL- Body

The body design is intended to impart a feeling of strong, yet casual elegance, with a strong front grille and prominent Acura identification. The body of the RL is significantly taller than previous Acura luxury sedans, for improved headroom, especially in the rear seats, and a more substantial exterior appearance. The RL flanks are designed with high, relatively prominent "shoulder" lines, for a strong, masculine appearance, and the front grille/fender/bumper area is designed with a very clean, integrated configuration, giving a more massive, yet aerodynamically efficient look. Refinements in aerodynamics and wind-noise control have resulted in a very quiet, distraction-free interior environment.

Precise Fit and Finish

The RL is engineered and painstakingly assembled to have a level of fit and finish second to none in the luxury sedan class. Panels have been combined and integrated, wherever possible, to eliminate gaps and seams. The front bumper assembly, for example, is composed of 52 parts, as compared to the front bumper of a Legend, which had 120 seperate parts.

Visibility

The tall, spacious-feeling greenhouse of the RL is designed to give the driver and passengers a clear, panoramic view of the road ahead and the surroundings to the sides and rear for incrased active safety. The driver's front, side and rear views are largely unobstructed, due to slim, yet highly rigid, roof pillars. The body is designed to give the driver a clear sense of the boundaries of the car, for more secure maneuvering and parking.

Paint Process and Corrosion Protection

The RL is built with a high proportion of galvanized steel panels, most of them galvanized on both sides for superior corrosion protection. All visibile surfaces are protected by a 23-step, 5-cost, 4-bake paint process, with special anti-chip primer and special scratch-resistant paint used in areas that are likely to be struck by stones or other debris. The paint process is so precise and exacting that personnel who work in the painting section of the factory wear special contamination-free clothing while working, and are checked for colognes or other cosmetic chemicals that might cause the slightest contamination of the painting environment. Chassis panels are protected by corrosion-resistant undercoating material, and body cavities are injected with an oil-based anti-corrosion wax that displaces moisture for even better protection.

Three-Function Headlight Assemblies

To enhance the smooth, integrated look of the front section, the headlight assemblies include running lights, headlights and turn signals.

Crystal-Cut Taillight Assemblies

The ultra-high quality appearance of the RL is enhanced by a special crystal structure cast into the inner surface of the RL rear outer lens assemblies.

Side-Mirror Air Deflectors

As an example of the extraordinary lengths taken to reduce wind noise, the outside rearview mirrors are designed with a small wind deflector, or spoiler, that directs oncoming air down and away from the mirror assembly. By detaching the airflow under the mirror, the deflector reduces the pressure gradient between the air rushing around the mirror housing and the still air behind the mirror, eliminating a "whistling" effect there that has been identified as a cause of wind noise in the wind tunnel.

Auto-Open, Privacy-Glass Power Moonroof

The 3.5 RL with Premium Package includes an innovative power moonroof. The outer moonroof panel first tilts up, for increased ventilation, and then opens completely with one further touch of the control button. Energy-rejecting privacy glass is used, and the moonroof is programmed to pause at the 130mm position during closing, to help ensure passenger safety.

Under-Chassis Spoiler

A special spoiler, located immediately behind the front bumper, has been developed which reduces airflow under the RL, reducing the high-pressure air under the fron tof the body and diverting it to flow around the sides and over the top. This reduces drag and front-end lift, and also reduces wind noise, helping to give the RL a remarkably quiet interior, even at autobahn-level velocities.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:03 PM
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1996 Acura 3.5 RL Interior

A great deal of attention was given to the design, materials, comfort features and convenience amenities of the RL interior, from major issues such as control location and passenger head, hip and shoulder room to smaller details such as extra-large beverage holders and a special compartment intended specifically for the driver's sunglasses. The overall design thrust was to give the interior a very open, relaxed ambience, much like the comfortable living room of an elegant, yet casual contemporary luxury home.

Materials

The leather seating surfaces that give the RL its luxurious look and feel are carefully hand-selected American hides which are tanned with an innovative process which helps the leather retain its soft, supple feel and resilient strength far longer than conventional auto interior leather. The oils in conventional leather tend to evaporate out of the hides in time, especially when the car is parked in the bright summer sun. This causes leather to prematurely age and dry out over time. It has another annoying side effect-the oil that escapes from the leather is then deposited on the rear window and windshield glass when the interior cools, causing a persistent and hard-to-remove "fogging" effect on the glass over time. The leather used in the RL is specially formulated to resist this phenomenon; it reduces window fogging 90% better than conventional leather.

Painted surfaces in the RL interior are coated with a new "leather-like" paint process that gives those areas a smooth, yet durable matte finish. Containing microscopic particles of pearlescent material and mica, this paint lasts extraordinarily well and imparts a subtle, muted tone. Other interior surfaces are created using an advanced "slush moulding" technique, giving them a soft, luxurious feel.

Seating

The driver's and front passenger's seats are the products of extensive research and development. They are designed to absorb vibrations and bumps to provide outstanding comfort without sacrificing the firm support needed in enthusiastic driving.

In testing, the RL seats decreased the upward force felt by test subjects by 50% over conventional seats; that is, the subjects felt the jarring of irregular road surfaces only half as strongly as with a conventional design.

Human factors research revealed that the human body has its own resonant frequency; that is, the vibration frequency at which the internal organs of the body pick up an outside vibration and resonate with it. If felt strongly, vibration in this frequency range is very unpleasant, and human test subjects generally gauge the vibration felt in a moving car on the level of vibration felt in this narrow range, between 5 and 10 Hz, or cycles per second.

To damp out as much of this vibration frequency as possible, the configuration of the springs in the RL seat cushions were analyzed using the NASTRAN finite element analysis program. Six different designs were tried before one was found which performed up to expectations.

Other details in the seat design include gently rounded thigh bolsters at the front, to avoid digging into the driver's and passenger's lower thighs. And the front lateral seam, which often runs across under the thighs, has been moved forward and down, eliminating this possible source of discomfort.

The front seats have even been designed to make the rear passengers more comfortable. The back of the seats are concave, giving rear seat passengers nearly an inch more knee room. And the seat rail structure was designed to give rear seat passengers nearly an inch more horizontal foot room, while the underside of the seat is carpeted to prevent scuffing their shoes.

The driver's seat is 8-waypower adjustable. It is linked by a memory system with the outside mirrors and electronic tilt and telescoping steering wheel, allowingone of two preset configurations to be accessed at the touch of a button. The front passenger's seat is 4-waypower adjustable. Both front seats are heated in models with the optional Premium Package.

The rear seats are designed and built to fit full-sized adults in total comfort as well. A fold-down center armrest incorporates its own dual beverage holder, and a pass-through to the trunk, along with a ski sleeve, included in the Premium Package, allows long objects to be carried without soiling or marring the interior.

Interior Comfort and Convenience

The RL is the most lavishly equipped Acura ever built. Advances in soundproofing throughout the car make its interior by far the quietest in Acura history. Nearly everything is standard, including cruise control, separate reading lights, power windows, door locks and moonroof, and remote keyless entry. A center console with the adjustable, two-position armrest can hold a cellular phone, or can be used to hold the magazine and player of the optional Acura six-disc CD changer, giving easy, in-car access to CD-changer programming. If the customer prefers, the CD changer unit can also be located out of the way, in the trunk.

Speed-Sensitive Intermittent Wiper

To accommodate the differing quantities of water encountered at different speeds, the RL is equipped with an automatic, speed-sensitive intermittent wiper system that slows down the wipers when the RL is stopped or moving slowly, and increases their speed when vehicle velocity increases.

Automatic Headlight System

In the 3.5RL, a sensor at the front of the instrument panel senses outside illumination level; if darkness occurs, the headlights, taillights and instrument panel lighting are automatically turned on. For nighttime convenience, when the vehicle is parked at night, the lights are left on after the ignition switch is turned off, but go out automatically when the driver's door is opened.

Instruments and Controls

Acura automobiles have always been known for their high level of ergonomic design and control harmony; the 3.5RL takes us to a whole new level of human engineering. The instrument panel is configured with a new "trinocular" design. A large, center speedometer and associated gauges monitor driving functions. A left-side, slightly smaller circle contains the tachometer and associated engine function gauges and indicators, and a symmetrical right-side circle includes the fuel gauge and less-used, yet important indicators. The instruments have large displays and are illuminated, even in daytime, for easy recognition. Much time and effort has gone into minimizing the attention needed to understand and operate each particular system, and to make each switch and control nearly as easy to use the first time as it will be after years of familiarity.

The engine's response to the throttle, for example, has been carefully analyzed and developed by fine-tuning the engine powerband, PGM-FI fuel injection system, transmission control unit and the physical layout and geometry of the throttle pedal itself. It has been developed to give a control feel that harmonizes, not only with the brake pedal and steering, but also to subjective human expectations of the effect a given push on the throttle will have on vehicle acceleration and speed. Every system has been optimized to give the driver what he or she asks for the first time, instead of forcing the driver to make a constant series of approximate control movements and subsequent corrections.

Automatic Climate Control

The RL is equipped with a truly state-of-the-art automatic climate control and air conditioning system. The system is not only powerful, in terms of cooling capacity and efficiency, but it is also extremely quiet, even when quickly cooling the interior on a hot Death Valley day. Even rear-seat passengers have personal control over the direction of heating or cooling air coming their way. Great pains have been taken to ensure cooling uniformity from front to rear, and an innovative subcondenser has been added to the AlC system, improving the efficiency of the unit substantially. In controlled testing, the AlC system cooled the interior from 100 degrees F to 70 degrees F in 15 minutes. Quicker than any other competitor in its class. The system is also environmentally friendly, using non CFC R134a refrigerant.

Microscopic Air Filtration

A new, state-of-the-art air filtration system removes pollen and other contaminants from the interior environment. The filter medium is so fine, it can trap all particles of 3 microns or larger, including almost all pollen and dust, and inhibits the passage of bacteria as small as .5 microns as well as most components of cigarette smoke and particulates in diesel exhaust. The filter has two layers: both are composed of felt-like, nonwoven fabric fibers, and one layer is electrostatically charged to help attract and trap even more dust and other airborne particles.

Heat-Rejecting Glass

Special solar-energy-absorbing, green-tinted glass is used in the 3.5RL, minimizing even further the effects of the hot sun on the interior and its occupants. This reduces the load on the climate control system for better cooling efficiency, delays the temperature rise in the interior when parked, and further protects the interior leather and other materials from the effects of solar radiation.

Music System

The Acura/Bose® Music System of the 3.5RL with Premium Package is the most impressive ever designed for an Acura automobile. Developed and tuned by Bose Corporation specially for the RL, the music system is acoustically optimized to provide clear, authentic sound in any seating position of the interior, and to automatically compensate the balance of bass, treble and midrange for any volume level.

Eight speakers are used: two 2.5-inch front tweeters, mounted high in the front doors, two 6.5-inch single-cone full-range speakers in the lower front door panels, two 5.25-inch full-range speakers, mounted in the rear door panels and two 6 x 9-inch low-frequency drivers in the rear package shelf.

From the easily accessible, dash-mounted control unit, audio output is sent to the auxiliary power amplifier unit located in the trunk. Separate amplifiers are provided inside the unit for each of the six individual front speakers. Each tweeter has a l2.5-watt amp, each of the four full-range speakers has its own 25-watt amp, and the two rear speakers, which act in concert as subwoofers, share a 100-watt amplifier. Total music system power: 225 watts.

The Acura/Bose® Music System also includes a six-disc CD changer, located in the trunk.

The standard music system of the 3.5RL is an AM/PM stereo/cassette system, with an optional CD changer; it also uses an 8-speaker configuration. The front tweeters are 1.5 inches in diameter, versus 2.5 inches in the Acura/Bose system; other speaker sizes and locations are the same in both systems. The standard system maximum output is 105 watts.

The antennae for the various receiver systems are all built into the rear window. These include: the AM/FM antenna and the antenna for the radiobased keyless entry system. The elimination of the antenna mast lessens complexity and reduces wind noise for the rear-seat passengers.

Satellite-Based Navigation System

A sophisticated navigation system will be offered in a limited number of areas of the U.S. The system will initially debut in California, and areas of coverage will be added as specific navigation data and software are developed for other U.S. regions.

The system uses Global Positioning System (GPS) data received from satellites, as well as its own inertial guidance system, to precisely pinpoint the location and velocity of the RL. When asked to guide the driver from one location to another, the system provides both audio and visual cues, helping the driver find the proper address quickly and easily, and with minimal distraction. Verbal directions, such as "Keep right," or "Next exit on the right" give the driver basic direction, and a visual LCD moving map with a directional arrow, located high in the cen,ter console, gives detailed information on street names, turning instructions and driving distances. Geographic data is stored on a hard disk, making it easy and economical to program the system for a new location or to update mapping information. Furthermore, the navigation system provides information and directions to local restaurants, theatres and points of interest.

Security/Immobilizers System

A remote keyless entry system is standard on the 3.5RL. The keyless entry system is radio-controlled-this gives much better range than a conventional infrared system, allowing the driver to unlock the RL or activate the "panic button" anti-theft function while still a considerable distance from the car. A special, electronically coded key prevents the car from being started, even if a mechanical duplicate of the proper key shape is used. A transponder, built into the key, signals the immobilizer control unit the key is genuine. If the car is hotwired, or an unauthorized key is used, it simply will not start. This system is a substantial deterrent to theft. In New Jersey, for example, insurance premiums have been reduced as much as 15% when such a system is used.

Safety

The RL is not just the most luxurious, most impressive Acura sedan ever built; it also represents the ultimate in state-of-the-art safety engineering for automobiles in its class. Advances in strength and rigidity of the unit-body structure, as well as innovations in side-impact protection make the RL as safe and secure as it is comfortable and gratifying to drive. And, for increased driver control, standard equipment includes a 4-channel Anti-Lock Braking System and a Traction Control System.

Dual Air Bags and Automatic Seat Belt Tensioners

A dual front air bag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) helps to absorb the energy of a severe frontal impact, and automatic seat belt tensioners help keep front passengers firmly in position in order to take advantage of the protection afforded by the air bag system. Three-point lap-and-shoulder primary belts are provided at all outboard seating positions.

Side-Impact Protection

Dual anti-intrusion beams in the front doors, as well as expanded polypropolyene hip and shoulder pads, built into the door structure, help protect front- and rear-seat passengers from a possible lateral collision, and help the RL meet 1997 U.S. side-impact standards. Anti-intrusion door beams are also used in the rear doors. And innovative, expanded polystyrene liners, installed above the front doors and inside the A-pillars, help give front-seat passengers added head protection in side-impact situations.

Front and Rear Crumple Zones

The structure is designed to deform progressively in both front and rear impacts, letting the front and rear sections absorb the energy of a collision while helping to keep the highly rigid center passenger section intact. Straight frame rails, front and rear, give the structure the strength necessary to help the RL withstand offset collisions at either end, with reduced possibilities for passenger injury.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:04 PM
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1998 changes to the Acura 3.5 RL

For 1998, the Acura 3.5RL features suspension revisions that provide more sporty handling while still maintaining the smooth, compliant ride that is the signature of this highly-refined luxury performance automobile.

"The 3.5RL continues as our top-of-the-line flagship sedan and sets the standard for Acura luxury and refinement," said Rich Thomas, Acura's executive vice president and general manager. "The RL embodies everything we've learned about engineering great luxury performance automobiles over the past eleven years."

Powered by a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that produces the most torque ever by any Acura sedan, the 3.5RL does not require a scheduled tune-up for the first 100,000 miles. The all-aluminum engine is designed to respond instantly, resulting in quick acceleration and effortless cruising.

The flagship sedan carries Acura's computer-controlled, 4-speed automatic transmission, which features Grade Logic Control for smoother, more responsive performance driving uphill or downhill.

The exterior styling of the RL reveals a prominent grille and strong, sculpted contours along the body, which yield a clean, aerodynamic line. The sleek, integrated front bumper gives the 3.5RL an elegant, uncluttered look and helps smooth aerodynamic flow for enhanced fuel efficiency. New for 1998, the RL features a distinctive alloy wheel design with a bright, machined-finish.

Inside the RL, drivers find numerous amenities including heated seats, a raised center storage console, pre-wiring for a cellular phone and the 225-watt, eight-speaker Acura/Bose® audio system, which is now a standard features on all 3.5RLs for 1998. The interior's roomy design showcases more standard features including plush, leather-trimmed seats and a high capacity climate control and air-filtration system, which eliminates most particles of bacteria, pollen and smoke.

Acura engineers have added a three-point safety belt for the center rear seating position. Other advanced safety features include dual air bags, front seat belt tensioners, dual front-door anti intrusion beams, front-door hip and shoulder pads and side impact head protection.

Available as an option on the 3.5RL is the Acura Navigation System, an innovative, first-of-its-kind in-dash system, which uses a combination of the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites, electro-gyros and sophisticated state-of-the-art software to map out the best route to a destination and to tell drivers their exact location at all times. The Navigation System features a 6-inch color LCD touch-screen mounted high in the center dashboard of the 3.5RL, within easy reach of the driver and the front-seat passenger. Mapping currently is available for the East Coast, California and Las Vegas. The Navigation System availability is being expanded in 1998 to a number of markets in the Midwest.

Like all Acura models, the 3.5RL is covered by a comprehensive 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. Additional ownership benefits include Acura Total Luxury Care (TLC) customer satisfaction program which provides free 24-hour roadside assistance, concierge service and trip routing.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:06 PM
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1999 Changes to the Acura 3.5 RL

For 1999 the Acura 3.5RL boasts more than 300 modifications yielding significant benefits in handling performance and ride quality, styling, passenger safety and comfort, refinement and value . Major enhancements for 1999 include:

* A new, more aggressively styled exterior highlighted by a wider wheel stance and sharply chiseled body character lines. Restyled exterior panels include the front and rear bumpers, front chin spoiler, hood and grille, front fenders and headlamps, rear combination lamp, trunk lid and rear license plate garnish. Only the doors, rear quarter panel,outboard mirrors, roof and glass are carried over from the previous model. A new, half-inch wider alloy wheel and a new Michelin tire design complete the 3.5RL' s more muscular stance and aggressive appearance.
* Enhanced occupant safety with the addition of driver and front passenger side air bags. This new side air bag system features innovative occupant-detection technology that detects the position of the front-seat passenger's head through sensors in the seat back and disables the front-passenger side air bag in the event that the occupant is improperly positioned or of small stature and at risk of injury from air bag deployment. A new three-sensor crash detection system sets a ten mph minimum threshold for side air bag deployment while ensuring accurate crash detection.
* A new dual-stag inflator for the passenger front air bag which reduces the rate of air bag inflation during low speed collisions to enhance passenger safety.
* A more rigid chassis structure for improved handling, high-speed stability, ride comfort and NVH. Torsional and bending rigidity are up 20 and 15percent, respectively.
* One fully equipped trim level with a greatly expanded list of standard luxury amenities including Traction Control System (TCS), Home Link®remote control. system, heated front seats and side view door mirrors, six-disc CD changer, automatic day/night rearview mirror, magnesium-cast steering wheel with floating horn pad, sun visor extender, and an illuminated center console utility box with 12-volt accessory power outlet and newly designed retractable cup holders.

PERFORMANCE

* A retuned suspension system that delivers more precise and sporty handling, balanced with luxury -class ride comfort, as well as a new magnesium-cast steering wheel with dynamic damper that imparts a lighter steering feel with reduced wheel vibration.
* New xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps, with twice the illuminating power of conventional halogen headlights, provide enhanced visibility and active safety performance.
* An available Acura Navigation System with new, more user-friendly features, including current location details, which allow the driver to see his or her current location with the touch of a button; a balloon function, which offers address information for any location on the map display; key shading, which automatically shades letters that are not possible next letters when entering a destination; and points-of-interest destination input by phone number.
* Improved aerodynamic performance. Coefficient of drag is reduced from 0.34 to 0.32, while the lift coefficient is down from 0.155 to 0.102.
* Michelin P215/60R16 MXV4 Plus M+S all-season tires with new sidewall and tread designs for improved handling performance and reduced road noise.
* New, half-inch wider16x7JJ cast-aluminum alloy wheels with a new wheel design.
* Larger diameter, ventilated front disc brakes and larger cross-section front and rear rotors for reduced brake fade and improved braking performance.

For the '99 model year, the 3.5RL chassis has been made even more rigid through the addition of a rear parcel shelf support gusset and a larger bulkhead bracket and improved rigidity of the rear crossbeam stabilizer. Torsional and bending rigidity are up 20 and 15 percent, respectively.

The improvements in rigidity made during the 3.5RL development process have reduced noise and vibration in the passenger cabin, enhanced handling precision and stability, created excellent safe performance and increased overall durability. A high proportion of galvanized panels are used in the 3.5RL structure and body panels for enhanced corrosion protection and overall longevity.

XENON HID HEADLIGHTS

The '99 RL features xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights with double the total illuminating power of conventionalhalogen headlamps, improving visibility and active safety performance. Standard fog lamps are integrated into the bumper fascia for improved performanc in combination with the HID headlights.

Last edited by Ken1997TL; 01-06-2010 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:08 PM
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2000 Changes to the Acura 3.5 RL

For 2000, the 3.5RL's refinement continues, with the arrival of Acura's highly sophisticated Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system as standard equipment, an easier-to-use and more capable optional DVD Acura Navigation System, and compliance with strict Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) environmental standards.

NEW VEHICLE STABILITY ASSIST (VSA) SYSTEM
Building on Acura's long history of advancing the science of automotive handling stability and control, the 2000 3.5RL now comes standard with a state-of-the-art Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system. Developed in cooperation with Bosch, this four-channel system orchestrates the throttle and each of the RL's four disc brakes independently to seamlessly integrate traction control, anti-lock braking and stability enhancement processes under widely divergent road and driving conditions.

By monitoring input from six vehicle sensors, the VSA can calculate a predicted range of vehicle response while constantly monitoring the vehicle's actual response and the driver's control inputs. If the actual response is outside of the predicted response range-as when cornering forces exceed the tire's performance, for example, VSA automatically intervenes with corrective action. In the case of oversteer during hard cornering (which might lead to spin), VSA applies braking to the outside front wheel to counter the unintended yawing tendency. On the other hand, if understeer becomes pronounced, VSA applies braking to the inside front wheel to turn the RL back onto the intended course.

Unlike some vehicle stability systems which can seem intrusive to enthusiast drivers, the Acura VSA is calibrated to add to stability and predictability, without stifling the driving enjoyment of the RL's carefully engineered chassis and double wishbone suspension. An indicator light flashes on the instrument panel while the system is actively stabilizing the vehicle. A cockpit switch is provided to disable the vehicle stability and traction control aspects of the system while leaving the antilock braking system fully functional.

ACURA NAVIGATION SYSTEM
The latest generation of the Acura Navigation System is the only factory-installed option available on the fully equipped 2000 3.5RL. This new system has significant enhancements than boost its convenience, ease of use and utility. There's a new, larger, seven-inch matte-finish touch-screen that resists fingerprinting and is easier to read. Smart new logic lets you type in your destination with significantly fewer keystrokes, and route calculation time is up to twice as fast. You can also preprogram a route with up to five destinations, or have the moving map display icons for gas stations, restaurants or ATMs. And with a new Digital Video Disc (DVD) on-board database with almost 14 times the storage capacity (increased from 520MB to 4.7GB), the entire continental United States is contained on a single disc.

The Acura Navigation System unit uses Global Positioning System (GPS) data received from satellites, as well as its own inertial guidance system, to precisely pinpoint the location and velocity of the car. When asked to guide the driver from one location to another, the system provides both audio and visual cues, helping the driver to find the proper destination quickly and easily and with minimal distraction. Verbal instructions such as, "Keep right" or "Next exit on the right" give the driver the basic direction, and a visual LCD moving map with a directional arrow, located high on the center console, provides detailed information on street names, turning instructions and driving distances. The navigation system also provides information and directions to 3.7 million local restaurants, theaters and points of interest.

The new seven-inch, color LCD display now has a picture-in-picture capability, so you can see the "big picture" map and get detailed turning instructions simultaneously. The new system will also display your current position coordinates at any time, and a balloon function instantly shows the address of any location you select on the map. You can also search for a selected point of interest simply by inputting its phone number. The voice guidance control has 11 different volume settings and automatically mutes the audio entertainment system front speakers momentarily when direction commands are given.

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Old 01-06-2010, 10:11 PM
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2001 Changes to the Acura 3.5 RL

In 2001, the 3.5 RL receives carpeted floor mats standard and an emergency trunk opener. The only factory option for the RL is the DVD-based satellite-linked Acura Navigation System with coverage of the continental U.S. and more than 37 million points of interest.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:11 PM
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2002 Changes to the Acura 3.5 RL

For 2002, the RL boasts significant enhancements in power, handling, NVH isolation, and security, allowing it to duel easily with the Mercedes E Class, BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, and Lexus GS 300.

The 3.5-liter V-6 engine is one of the biggest engines that has ever powered an Acura sedan. Thanks in part to the addition of a new variable silencer, the engine now generates 225 horsepower, a significant improvement over the previous model's 210-hp output. At the same time, this potent powerplant delivers impressive fuel efficiency and low tailpipe emissions. The RL is classified by the EPA as a Low Emission Vehicle (LEV).

A firmer, more enthusiast-oriented suspension enhances the RL's handling responsiveness and stability for 2002. Wider wheels and tires enhance cornering grip, while a retuned, speed-sensitive, power-steering system improves handling feel. For superb control in all driving situations, the RL is equipped with Acura's highly sophisticated Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system, which helps provide both traction control and stability assistance.

Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) have been significantly reduced through added insulation in the engine compartment and under the dash.

A new OnStar® system provides drivers with 24-hour voice access to a live OnStar advisor, who can help with emergency assistance. An available OnStar route guidance concierge and a Virtual Advisor feature allow the driver to obtain news updates and sports scores and even listen to e-mail using a hands-free, voice-activated Internet connection.

Outside, the 2002 Acura 3.5 RL wears subtly enhanced bodywork, including new body colored lower side sills, splash guards and roof molding as well as redesigned alloy wheels.

The 3.5 RL comes in one fully equipped trim level. Standard features include the HomeLink® remote control system, heated front seats and door mirrors, leather seating surfaces, a power moonroof, an Acura/Bose Music System with six-disc CD changer, and an Automatic Climate Control system.

Also available is the DVD-based Acura Satellite-Linked Navigation System, which offers route guidance to almost any destination in the continental United States and information on more than 3.7 million points of interest.

The '02 RL has significant improvements in the following areas:

* Increased Engine Performance
- 225 hp @ 5200 rpm, up 15 hp from 2001 model
- Revised air intake improves flow
- Variable silencer reduces back pressure
- Optimized ignition timing for better combustion
* New Sport Suspension
- Firmer spring and damping rates
- Larger stabilizer bars
- Wide and low profile all-season performance tires
- Firmer front suspension bushings
* Enhanced Braking
- New dual-diaphragm master cylinder
- Greater braking with reduced pedal effort
* NVH
- Improved insulation materials
- New dual-chamber door seals
* Convenience
- OnStar Safety and Security Package added as standard equipment
- OnStar Premium Package is available
- OnStar Personal Calling and Virtual Advisor

VARIABLE-SILENCER
The 2002 RL achieves a 15-horsepower increase over the 2001 model in part thanks to a new variable silencer. A special valve in the first exhaust chamber within the muffler is able to route the exhaust as needed for quiet operation and, when applicable, reduced back pressure for improved power output. Under normal driving conditions, the valve is closed - channeling exhaust flow through the entire muffler tract for maximum noise reduction. During hard acceleration, however, at 3500 rpm the valve opens - allowing exhaust to flow directly to the muffler's dual exit chambers for improved flow and enhanced engine output.

The 3.5 RL is equipped with 4-wheel, independent double-wishbone suspension with coil springs, 4-wheel disc brakes with ventilated front rotors, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and stabilizer bars at both front and rear. For 2002, the suspension has been made firmer, using stiffer springs and firmer shock absorber damping rates that help increase overall cornering ability. Coupled with the 2002 RL's added power and improved braking, the firmer suspension further enhances the vehicle's performance.

LOW-FRICTION DOUBLE-WISHBONE SUSPENSION
The RL's double-wishbone suspension layout has been carefully revised for 2002 to optimize handling quickness and stability without sacrificing ride quality. Increasing the spring and damping rates and utilizing larger front and rear stabilizer bars and firmer front suspension bushings gives the car a sporty feel. The front suspension uses unequal-length upper and lower control arms and a tubular stabilizer bar, while the rear suspension combines a longitudinal trailing arm, three lateral links and a tubular stabilizer. For excellent stability and improved ride quality, added anti-squat and anti-dive geometries were built into the RL suspension.

To achieve a compliant ride without compromising handling response or cornering capability, the RL suspension also uses a number of innovations to reduce friction throughout suspension travel. The stabilizer bars use highly efficient ball joints at either end, as well as self-lubricating bushings at the sub-frame mounts. The upper arms of both the front and rear suspension have low-friction ball-joint bushings where they attach to the main structure, reducing overall friction while enhancing rigidity of the suspension assembly. Dampers have an advanced Progressive Valve design for increased damping control at low damper speeds while retaining quick, fluid response to large impacts. Special Teflon seals within all four damper units reduce friction even further for improved ride quality.

BRAKING SYSTEM
Large, power-assisted, 4-wheel disc brakes are standard, with ventilated rotors in front for minimal fade and excellent heat dissipation. By fine-tuning the leverage ratio of the brake pedal and the response characteristics of the power-brake vacuum diaphragm for 2002, the RL engineering team achieved reduced stopping distances while making brake response more linear and intuitive. Combined with the "low-creep" torque converter, these refinements also help make it easier to hold the RL at a stop.

ANTI-LOCK BRAKING SYSTEM (ABS)
The 3.5 RL has a 4-wheel, 4-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) that works independently of and in concert with the VSA system as needed. The ABS system operates in 3-channel mode during straight-line braking (apportioning braking power to the front wheels independently and the rear wheels in tandem), but automatically switches to 4-channel mode when the VSA system senses high cornering forces. This allows the ABS system to take advantage of weight transfer to the outside of the turn during cornering and apply higher brake pressure to the outer rear wheel for enhanced braking performance.

The ABS enhances steering control during hard braking. Speed sensors at each wheel send signals to the ABS control module; if the system detects impending wheel lockup, it first holds, then reduces hydraulic pressure to the affected wheel, letting it regain traction before full braking resumes. The ABS function is also highly effective on split-friction surfaces, in which one side of the vehicle has significantly less traction than the other.

ROTARY-VALVE, VARIABLE POWER-ASSISTED, RACK-AND-PINION POWER STEERING
The speed-sensitive, variable power-assisted, rack-and-pinion steering uses a rotary valve that senses torque applied to the steering wheel and a vehicle speed sensor to vary power assist accordingly. The system adjusts steering assist for easy steering at low speeds and quick, precise steering at high speeds. For 2002, the system has been tuned for enhanced road feel at cruising speeds and during cornering maneuvers. The RL utilizes a cast-magnesium steering wheel for lighter steering feel, and a dynamic damper in the steering shaft for reduced wheel vibration.

WHEELS AND TIRES
The 2002 Acura 3.5 RL is equipped with wide P225/55R16 Michelin tires (up from 215/60R16 Michelin in 2001) on newly designed aluminum alloy wheels. The wider tires help provide outstanding all-season grip and performance, while maintaining outstanding ride characteristics and helping achieve optimal fuel mileage. The tires are an all-season design for enhanced traction on wet roads as well as on dry pavement.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:14 PM
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2003 Changes to the Acura 3.5 RL

For 2003, the Acura 3.5 RL luxury sedan receives a number of subtle refinements that highlight and enhance the car's already unparalleled level of craftsmanship, making Acura's flagship even more luxurious and sophisticated.

"The enhancements we've made to this year's RL are subtle, yet important," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president, auto sales. "Last year, we boosted performance by increasing horsepower and retuning the suspension, while this year we're making the RL even more refined, which is crucial to our high-end customers."

The handsome exterior of the RL, with a long, sloping front hood and short rear deck, reflects Acura's attention to detail and craftsmanship. For 2003, the RL is available in three new colors - Carbon Gray Pearl, Polar Blue Metallic, and Champagne Mist Pearl, and features redesigned, alloy wheels and a new taillight design with a clear turn signal lens.

Inside, the RL's elegant cabin environment boasts abundant interior room and hand-selected leather-trimmed 8-way adjustable front seats. Both the instrument panel and the standard Acura Navigation System are trimmed in premium burled camphor wood. For 2003, the RL receives a new interior color, Slate, and three new wood trim colors: Auburn Camphor, Golden Camphor and Black Camphor.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:16 PM
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2004 Changes to the Acura 3.5 RL

For 2004, the RL receives a variety of interior enhancements that lengthen its list of standard features and reinforce its position as the most comprehensively equipped, technologically advanced sedan in its class. The most notable of these is the addition of XM® Satellite Radio. While some of its competitors are beginning to offer XM Satellite Radio as optional equipment, the RL is the only luxury sedan to include XM as standard equipment.

To complement the addition of XM Satellite Radio, the RL's standard Acura/Bose Music System has been enhanced, with two additional, door-mounted speakers and retuned amplifiers to provide even better sound reproduction. The 6-disc CD changer has been moved to the dash from the trunk for added convenience.

And while the RL has offered the Acura Satellite-Linked Navigation System' as a factory-installed option on previous models, 2004 marks the first year that it will be included as standard equipment on all models sold in the 48 contiguous states. The Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition' features a variety of new and improved features, the foremost being a new voice recognition system that recognizes 130 commands. Other enhancements over the previous generation system include quicker calculation speeds, enhanced graphics and a larger database that now includes over 7 million points of interest.

In addition to the new technology, the 2004 RL receives a host of trim enhancements including a redesigned steering wheel, meter panel and center console, brushed metal finishes and chrome interior accents, and a wood shifter knob.

The RL's interior was carefully designed to deliver the highest levels of luxury, cutting edge technology, and superior performance and functionality. This concept is evident throughout the car, encompassing everything from the location of the driver controls to the expansive passenger head, hip, and shoulder room to smaller details such as extra-large beverage holders and a special compartment intended specifically for the driver's sunglasses. The overall design objective is to give the interior a very open, relaxed ambience, much like the comfortable living room of an elegant, yet casual, contemporary luxury home.

Luxury features of the 2004 Acura 3.5 RL include:

* Standard XM Satellite Radio
* New satellite-linked Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition
* Improved Acura/Bose" Music System with in-dash 6-disc CD changer
* Power lumbar support on the driver's seat
* New instrument panel design
* New center console design with wood shift knob and accents

MATERIALS
Only the finest materials have been chosen for inclusion in the RL cabin. The glove-soft, hand-selected leather seating surfaces that give the RL its luxurious look and feel are American hides tanned with an innovative process that helps the leather retain its soft, supple feel and resilient strength far longer than conventional automobile interior leather. Oils in conventional leather tend to slowly evaporate - especially when the car is parked in the sun - causing leather to prematurely age and dry out over time or form deposits on the rear window and windshield glass when the interior cools, eventually causing a persistent and hard-to-remove "fogging" effect. The leather used in the RL is treated to resist this phenomenon, and this treatment reduces window fogging by 90 percent compared to conventional leather.

The camphor wood that adorns the cockpit is of similar unparalleled quality. It comes from Tendo - a woodworking firm so esteemed that its work is displayed in the New York Museum of Modern Art.

The 2004 RL is available with three interior colors: Quartz, Parchment and Slate.

SEATING
The front seats are the products of extensive research and development. Designed to absorb vibrations and bumps, they provide outstanding comfort without sacrificing the firm support needed during enthusiastic driving. For the utmost in driver comfort, especially on long drives, the 2004 RL receives power adjustable lumbar support on the driver's seat.

In testing, the RL seats decreased the upward force felt by test subjects by 50 percent over conventional seats; that is, the subjects felt the jarring of irregular road surfaces only half as strongly as with a conventional design.

Human factors research has revealed that the human body has its own resonant frequency; that is, the vibration frequency at which the internal organs of the body pick up an outside vibration and resonate with it. If felt strongly, vibration in this frequency range is very unpleasant, and human test subjects generally gauge the vibration felt in a moving car on the level of vibration felt in this narrow range, between 5 and 10 Hz or cycles per second.

To damp out as much of this vibration frequency as possible, the configuration of the springs in the RL seat cushions were analyzed using the NASTRAN finite-element analysis program. Six different designs were tried before one was found that performed to Acura's exacting standards. Based on this research, both front seats incorporate an advanced suspension system that helps isolate occupants from road harshness.

Every attempt is made to maximize comfort. Gently rounded thigh bolsters at the front avoid digging into driver and passenger thighs. The front lateral seam, which often runs across the seat under the thighs, is positioned forward and down, eliminating this possible source of discomfort.

The front seats are designed to also make rear-seat passengers more comfortable. The backs of the seats are concave, giving rear seat passengers nearly an inch of extra knee room. The seat rail structure was designed to give rear-seat passengers nearly an inch more horizontal foot room, while the underside of the seat is carpeted to prevent shoe scuffs.

The driver's seat is eight-way power adjustable. Linked by a memory system with the outside mirrors and with the electronic tilt and telescoping steering wheel, it permits one of two preset configurations to be accessed at the touch of a button. The front passenger's seat is four-way power adjustable. Both front seats are also heated.

The rear seats are designed and built to accommodate full-sized adults in total comfort as well. A fold-down center armrest incorporates its own dual beverage holder, and a pass-through to the trunk allows long objects to be carried without soiling or marring the interior.

INTERIOR COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
The 2004 RL is the most lavishly equipped Acura ever built. Nearly everything is standard, including for the first time in a luxury sedan, XM" Satellite Radio and a satellite-linked navigation system with voice recognition. Other standard amenities include 6-disc in-dash CD changer, cruise control, individual reading lights, power windows and door locks, a power moonroof, remote keyless entry, and the OnStar" system.

The center console, which has been redesigned for 2004, features an illuminated storage area with a 12-volt accessory power outlet and a tray designed to hold a cellular phone.

Wind and other noise can ruin the ambience of even the most luxurious interior. Therefore, extensive soundproofing has been utilized throughout the RL to ensure that its interior is extremely quiet and vibration-free. With insulation under the hood, in the engine compartment, and under the dashboard, every effort has been made to ensure that no unnecessary sound or vibration intrudes on the driving experience.

ACURA NAVIGATION SYSTEM WITH VOICE RECOGNITION
The 2004 RL features the new DVD-based, satellite-linked Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition as standard* equipment. This system has been enhanced over the previous generation with a wide variety of new features. These enhancements include:

* Voice recognition
* Faster route calculation and search speed (up to three times faster than the previous generation)
* A more comprehensive destination guide with 7 million points of interest (previously 3.7 million).
* Enhanced graphics
* New, enhanced split screen mode for displaying additional route information
* Day/night visualization modes with user-selectable screen background appearance
* Enhanced menus and improved surface street mapping
* Turn-by-turn voice guidance in either male or female voice

Similar in function to systems offered in other Acura vehicles, this equipment receives Global Positioning System (GPS) data. That information is combined with signals from an onboard inertial guidance system and information from a DVD database to pinpoint the vehicle's location and help guide the driver to selected destinations.

The Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition includes continuous coverage of the 48 contiguous states, and covers virtually all U.S. roads and 7 million points of interest (compared to 3.7 million in the 2003 model).

This coverage is conveyed to the driver by both audio and visual cues designed to aid navigation without causing distraction. A male or female voice can be selected for the audio cues and this voice can be shut off at any time. A moving map in combination with direction arrows, detailed street names, turning instructions and driving distances are provided on the LCD touch control screen. A new split screen design enhances on-screen information with a "map view" and "3-D" route visualization of freeway on ramps or off ramps simultaneously-a major step forward in making navigation information even easier to understand.

This new generation Acura Navigation System can be controlled by the driver through either the touch screen display or by the new voice recognition system. The voice recognition system works when the "talk" button, located on the steering wheel is depressed. Utilizing a microphone located on the roof console, the system recognizes commands such as "find nearest gas station," "find nearest ATM," or "find nearest Italian restaurant."

The voice recognition system has a vocabulary of 130 commands and can recognize virtually any English-spoken accent.

Search speed in this improved system is more than three times faster than in the system's previous version.

A picture-in-picture capability permits simultaneous display of a large-scale map with detailed turning instructions. The driver always knows the vehicle's current position and a balloon function instantly reveals the address of any selected location on the map.

Points of interest can be searched by inputting that destination's telephone number. The volume of voice guidance instructions can be adjusted through 11 settings and the audio system's speakers are automatically muted when direction commands are issued.

In addition to voice recognition, quick and easy manual operation is also available via the touch screen. Only a few entries are needed to input destinations and route calculations are made expeditiously.

A matte finish is used on the 7-inch display screen to enhance legibility while resisting fingerprints. The same screen used for navigation also displays trip distance, average fuel mileage, remaining range (miles to empty), elapsed time, outside temperature, and climate control setting information.

* The Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition is not installed on RL models sold in Alaska and Hawaii - service for these states does not exist at this time

XM SATELLITE RADIO
The 2004 RL is the first luxury sedan to feature XM Satellite Radio as standard* equipment. XM Satellite Radio lets RL drivers listen to over 100 digital channels, many of which are commercial-free, with near CD-quality sound.

XM's broadcast signal is beamed from two earth-station antennas at the XM studios in Washington D.C. to two broadcast satellites positioned more than 22,000 miles above the earth in geostationary orbit. The beams from these two broadcast satellites, one located over the west coast, one over the east coast, combine to span the entire continental U.S. while remaining stationary with respect to the land below. Over 1,000 ground antennas, or repeaters, keep the signal strong in challenging locales such as urban areas with tall buildings. The result is that while many commercial radio stations can only be picked up within a 40 or 50-mile radius from their source, XM radio can be heard throughout the 48 continental states. That means no channel switching on long trips and minimal loss of signal.

Programming includes 70 music channels, 30 channels devoted to sports, talk, children's programming and entertainment, and one premium channel, which is available for an additional fee. Currently, 36 stations are free of commercial interruptions. Stations that do have commercials are limited to about six minutes per hour, far less than on commercial, non-satellite programming.

XM hardware is embedded in the car's music system. When XM is being played, a display shows the current station, song title or artist's name. XM Satellite Radio service is priced at $9.99 per month. A complimentary three-month subscription to the XM Satellite Radio service is included with purchase of the RL and customers are able to continue the service or cancel any time after.



SPEED-SENSITIVE INTERMITTENT WIPERS
The RL is equipped with an automatic, speed-sensitive intermittent wiper system that slows down the wipers when the RL is stopped or moving slowly and increases their speed when vehicle velocity increases. The wipers were also designed to be as quiet as possible while in operation.

AUTOMATIC HEADLIGHT SYSTEM
In the RL, a sensor at the front of the instrument panel senses outside illumination levels; when darkness occurs during automatic mode, the headlights, taillights, and instrument panel lighting turn on automatically for nighttime convenience. When the vehicle is parked at night, the lights remain lit after the ignition switch is turned off, but extinguish automatically when the driver's door is opened.

HEAT-REJECTING GLASS
In the RL, special, solar-energy-rejecting, green-tinted glass is used, minimizing the effects of the hot sun on the interior and its occupants. This reduces the load on the Climate Control System for better cooling efficiency, delays the temperature rise in the interior when the vehicle is parked, and further protects the interior leather and other materials from the effects of heat.

INSTRUMENTS AND CONTROLS
Acura automobiles have always been known for their high level of ergonomic design and control harmony; however, the RL aspires to a whole new level of human engineering. The cockpit, for example, is based on a "trinocular" design. A large central speedometer and associated gauges monitor driving functions. A left-side, slightly smaller circle of gauges includes the tachometer while a symmetrical right-side circle includes the fuel gauge and less-used, yet important indicators. The large display and illuminated instruments provide easy recognition. Significant time and effort have been expended to design displays that require only quick monitoring glances, making each switch and control nearly as easy to use the first time as it will be after years of familiarity.

The steering wheel has been redesigned for 2004 for a sportier, yet more sophisticated look.

AUTOMATIC CLIMATE CONTROL SYSTEM
The RL is equipped with a state-of-the-art Automatic Climate Control System. While powerful in terms of cooling capacity and efficiency, it is also extremely quiet, regardless of how hard it has to work to cool the car. Rear-seat passengers have personal control over the direction of heating or cooling air coming their way. Every effort has been taken to ensure cooling uniformity from front to rear, and an innovative subcondenser improves the efficiency of the unit substantially. In controlled testing, the A/C system cooled the interior from 100 degrees to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in a remarkable 15 minutes.

AIR FILTRATION SYSTEM
A state-of-the-art air-filtration system removes pollen and other contaminants from the interior environment. The filter element is fine enough to trap all particles of three microns or larger, including almost all pollen and dust, and inhibit the passage of bacteria as small as 0.5 microns as well as some components of cigarette smoke and particulates in diesel exhaust. The filter has two layers. Both are composed of felt-like, non-woven fabric fibers, and one layer is electrostatically charged to help attract and trap dust and other airborne particles.

ACURA/BOSE MUSIC SYSTEM
The RL comes with a premium Acura/Bose" Music System, which, for 2004, has been retuned and enhanced to complement the addition of XM Satellite Radio. The 250-watt system is driven by custom-equalized amplifiers, which have been retuned for 2004. From the easily accessible, dash-mounted control unit, audio output is sent to the auxiliary power amplifier unit located in the trunk. Separate amplifiers are provided inside the unit for each of the precisely positioned Bose speakers.

For 2004, two additional 1.5-inch tweeters mounted near the door handles in each front door panel, expand the total number of speakers to 10. The speakers now include two 6.5-inch woofers with 2-inch mid-range speakers positioned in the lower front door panels; two 5.25-inch, wide-range speakers mounted in the rear-door panels, two 7-channel amplifier with custom equalization and signal processing located in the rear door well, and two 6 x 9-inch low-frequency drivers located in the rear package shelf also positioned high in the front doors in addition to the new tweeters in each front door. Each tweeter is powered by a 12.5-watt amplifier. Each of the four mid- and wide-range speakers has its own 25-watt amplifier, and the two rear speakers, which act in concert as subwoofers, share a 100-watt amplifier.

For convenience, the trunk-mounted CD changer has been replaced with a standard 6-disc in-dash CD changer for 2004.

The antennae for the AM/FM radio and the radio-based keyless entry system have been built into the rear window, while the antenna for the XM radio system is packaged together with the OnStar satellite receiver and located at the rear of the roof.

ONSTAR® IN-VEHICLE COMMUNICATIONS AND ASSISTANCE SERVICE
The OnStar in-vehicle communications and assistance service is standard in the 3.5 RL. Providing an extra level of security and convenience, OnStar can offer 24-hour emergency assistance, accident notification, air bag deployment notification, stolen vehicle tracking, door unlock command and vehicle tracking.

The OnStar activation button is located on the rearview mirror. Pressing the button provides quick access to a live OnStar advisor, any time day or night. Using input from orbiting GPS satellites, the OnStar advisor can easily pinpoint the location of the owner's vehicle to help provide assistance.

In the event of theft, subscribers need only contact the OnStar Center (after filing a police report) and provide a personal identification number. An OnStar advisor can then pinpoint the car and direct authorities to its exact location.

The RL comes with a free one-year subscription to the Safe and Sound Plan. In addition, RL owners can choose to upgrade to either the Directions and Connections Plan or the Luxury and Leisure Plan. The Directions and Connections Plan adds route support, convenience services and ride assist. The Luxury and Leisure Plan adds personal concierge services and other benefits. The optional Personal-Calling Package, which includes wireless phone and "Virtual Advisor" Internet services, is available as part of both plans for an additional charge. The Luxury and Leisure Plan adds personal concierge services and other benefits.

KEYLESS ENTRY/SECURITY/IMMOBILIZER SYSTEM
A remote keyless entry system is standard on the RL. The keyless entry system is radio-controlled - this gives much better range than a conventional infrared system - allowing the driver to unlock the RL or activate the "panic button" antitheft function while still a considerable distance from the car. A special electronically coded key prevents the car from being started, even if a mechanical duplicate of the proper key shape is used. A transponder, built into the key, signals the immobilizer control unit that the key is genuine. If the car is hot-wired, or an unauthorized key is used, the car simply will not start. This system is a substantial deterrent to theft.
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